We hear people say it, “choose joy” as if it is a thing readily available for the taking. Just reach out and grasp it and it’s yours to keep.
And some think they’ve found it in a nice house or pretty clothes or a fulfilling relationship, while others are just plain hungry for it.
We think we find joy in children’s laughter, walks on the beach, sunny days, a good book. We claim joy in date nights, a healthy bank account, a successful career or ministry, good health, full stomachs, any and all of those blessings we’ve counted up.
We look for joy always in all of the created things; we crave it.
But all of these things, even these people, they are are fleeting, friends: here today, gone tomorrow.
Any joy based on these moments, on temporary possessions or circumstances, is destined to pass.
When that happens, we feel cheated somehow, don’t we?
We feel let down. We may even wonder if something is wrong with us or question why the joy is gone. Have you been there before? When the sunshine suddenly turns to rain, when laughter turns to pain?
I’ve walked through seasons where joy seemed scarce and even counting my blessings, though they are many, wasn’t enough to satisfy my soul. I’ve found myself hungry for lasting joy, one not of this world.
True joy, lasting joy, comes from one source and one source only – the Father God who created us purely for love’s sake. His only Son took upon Himself the burden of the cross “for the joy set before him” so that we might have joy unspeakable.
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Are you looking for it today, friend, the kind of joy that lasts through the hard times and back again, the kind that wells up from within, unstoppable?
Find joy in Jesus.
It’s Five Minute Friday again, so I’m joining up with the lovely ladies over at Lisa Jo Baker’s place for a stress-free, five-minute, free-write on a one-word prompt. Join us if you like!